Thursday, September 12, 2013

Leg 3: O'Rourke's Rd to Indian Pond

September 10, 2013

An almost-perfect hiking day. Dry and pleasantly warm but very windy. We begin where the T'Railway intersects with O'Rourke's Road in Holyrood.  A cyclist swoops past as we get out of the car, a man whose hair is tinged with grey.  He is the only other trail user we see for the day.

The first km or so has us bounded by woods on both sides.  The trail is level and there is a rare long, straight section.  Then the woods thin on our left side (northwest) and we have a fine view as the land drops drops away sharply into Conception Bay.

The trail here is sparsely covered with light gravel and the walking is easy.  There's an occasional large pothole, or small pond, but mostly it's in good shape.

After a couple more km we stop to gawk at the remains of a long-ago train wreck down the bank. We've seen the relics many times from the ocean. Some of the rusty steel was removed a few years ago.

This is the pier that serves Nalcor's thermal generating station.  Fuel is offloaded here and moved to the plant via pipeline.

 The three stacks of the power plant appear inland from the trail.

On our left, a view across to Harbour Main.

 Ahead, the trail curves down into Seal Cove.

Offshore, the birds take a break from riding the winds.

As we reach the beach, the walking becomes very difficult.  The beach -- actually a barachois between Indian Pond and the ocean -- was washed out in some of the fierce storms of recent years.  Remediation efforts used large stones which lie loosely on top and roll underfoot.  We were wearing sneakers but for this section we needed hiking boots for ankle support.

This is a view looking south, back toward the power plant, showing Indian Pond, the first of a series of saltwater 'ponds' along this shore.

Jim is standing on the newly constructed bridge over the Indian Pond inlet.

Ahead: Seal Cove, Conception Bay South.  We have reached the town limits of Holyrood.  


Distance:  5 km gained towards our goal, 10 km walked, as we doubled back to the start

Time:  2 hours, 45 minutes

Litter:  Virtually non-existent.  A couple of tires lay on the beach near the end.

Trail condition: Good from O'Rourke's road until the beach at Indian Pond.  Then very difficult due to large stones used to stabilize the beach. The only slope was a drop from high ground in the woods to the Indian Pond beach.

Scenic Rating:  *** at beginning, hard to be kind about the view of the power plant, great panorama of the bay.

Fellow walkers:   None.  A lone male cyclist.

Lessons learned:  We'd prefer a slightly shorter distance, unless lunch is included.

Link to the full route of our hike. Trek-to-town